State wants prolonged sentence for Oscar

BY CHARL BOSCH - OCTOBER 17, 2014

The State in the sentencing trail of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, has called for a minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, stating the Blade Runner acted “to hastily and with excessive force” when he fired four shots into the toilet cubicle at his Silver Lakes home on Valentine’s Day last year, resulting in the death of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Speaking during final day of sentencing in the North Gauteng High Court, State Prosecutor Gerrie Nel, said that Pistorius’ action bordered on dolus eventualis - indirect intention - and that putting him under house arrest for three years, ranked as “shockingly inappropriate”.

“We are not dealing here with an assault or car crash. The accused acted with the intention to shoot. If he wasn't negligent, she would have been alive. His whole conduct was negligent,” Nel said.

He also accused Pistorius of playing the victim and described his apology to Steenkamp’s parents as showing anything but remorse, after defence lawyer Barry Roux, earlier told the court that the athlete “had been suffering since the shooting” and that “the emotional pain will remain permanent”.

“Remorse is when an accused verbalises it to court,” said Nel, adding that the emotion shown by Steenkamp’s cousin, Kim Martin, proved this.

“Kim Martin's voice goes beyond the family. It must be seen as the voice of society. The court observed her pain, real pain. This trial was dominated by the issue of screaming and gunshots. It is ironic that the soft voice of Kim Martin trounced all those noises.”

Nel also took a swipe at Roux’s statement that Pistorius wanted to show his concern for Steenkamp’s parents, by selling his car and paying them R6 000 a month for the last 18 months.

“When I first heard about it, it made be sad. They were so financially deprived they took money from the accused. The offer is nothing but an attempt to influence sentencing,” Nel said.

He also went to describe Pistorius as “a privileged son” who would have raked in millions, adding that Pistorius uses his disability when it suits him.

“The accused’s shower and toilet had no railings but there has to be in jail. He wanted to compete with able bodied athletes, but now uses his disability,” said Nel.

Responding to Roux’s claims that false reports and allegations about Pistorius had been made in the media, which further attributed to his mental decline, Nel said, “No one caused Mr Pistorius to read the media. He chose to do so. He can only blame himself.”

Final Sentencing is due to take place next Tuesday.